Sita-ji’s favorite Bollywood films from 2000-2009


Namaste yaar!  As 2010 dawns, I’d like to offer up some of my favorite films from the past decade. Technically I should wait until 2011 to count a full decade, but I’m doing it anyway.  I waiver from the blog’s subject of Bollywood quite often, but here I will try to focus on pure Bollywood filums, no Tollywood, Kollywood, no art house or parallel cinema, only sirf what is what I consider pure Bollywood. Shall we begin?

~ 2000 ~

Up for my nomination were Alaipayuthey (2000) but I disqualified it since it’s Tamil, and this is Bollywood decade in review, not Kollywood. I know it was remade into Saathiya in Hindi later, but not in 2000. I also enjoyed Zubeidaa (2000) and Hey Ram (2000) but those are both too art house, so disqualified! I almost chose Dhadkan (2000) because I love how crazy Sunil Shetty was in that movie. I ended up choosing Fiza (2000) because I like how Karisma Kapoor changes into some acid washed jeans to TCB (take care of business!) and heads to the northern border to go and search for her once sweet brother who has turned into a wayward terrorist. Don’t you hate when that happens? I mean the terrorism thing as well as acid washed jeans.

Plus, the word melodious was used in the film, so that automatically catapults it to the top of my list:

~ 2001 ~

So much to choose from in 2001.  My first choice would be 2001 Kandukondain Kandukondain (2001), but alas it’s Tamil, so disqualified. I also loved  Lagaan (2001), but that’s an obvious choice.  I have a soft spot for the especially freaky and melodramatic Lajja (2001), but it’s not the best of 2001.  One of my all time favorites is Chandni Bar (2001), but it’s parallel cinema, not Bollywood, so I choose the fantastic partition drama, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) starring Sunny DeolAmisha Patel, and Amrish Puri. I can still hear Amrish Puri’s character screaming, and picture  Amisha Patel’s character learning how to fold Sunny Deol’s turban.

Plus I really like the tune Main Nikla Gaddi Leke.

~ 2002 ~

Well the clear choice here could be the beautiful Devdas with all of Aishwarya and Madhuri’s lovely dancing,  and Shahrukh Khan’s fantastic overacting. And speaking of Aishwarya and 2002, I adored Chokher Bali, but Tagore and high brow Bengali cinema are not Bollywood, so I nominate Shakti – The Power (2002) starring Karisma KapoorNana Patekar, with an extended appearance with Shahrukh Khan, where he bleeds from the mouth like he does so often in films. Nana and Karisma freak out in this film like Amrish Puri to the 10th power, which means it’s ultra dramatic. Have you seen this one?  Do you remember the drama? I can still taste it!

~ 2003 ~

Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) has a special place in my heart since it was one of my first Bollywood films, but I’d like to nominate Pinjar (2003) as my favorite for that year, since like I said above, I love a good Partition movie, and though it’s nearly a parallel cinema movie, it’s just Bollywood enough to count. Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpai and Sanjay Suri are fantastic, and like all good movies, it still lurks in my memory.  Head over to Philip’sFil-ums for an excellent examination of  Pinjar.

~ 2004 ~

I loved Veer-Zaara (2004) and Swades (2004) as well as  Raincoat (2004) where Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai do a magnificent job, but my rule says no parallel cinema, so for 2004 I offer up Ek Hasina Thi (2004), though nearly parallel cinema, it’s more mainstream Bollywood than Raincoat. I still remember what Urmila Matondkar‘s character did to  Saif Ali Khan‘s character, and if you don’t know what I’m referring to, see the film! You can also go over to Bollywood Deewana’s blog to see a slick review of the film.

~ 2005 ~

Water (2005) is a beautifully sad film but doesn’t count as Bollywood since it’s directed by NRI Canadian, Deepa Mehta. The other films from 2005 that stand out for me are Iqbal (2005) and Parineeta (2005), but for my decade review, I will award Ramji Londonwaley (2005) as my favorite.  Southie star Madhavan (wasn’t he fabulous in 3 Idiots?), and his charisma made this movie a favorite for me.

~ 2006 ~

If I could choose a Telugu movie for the best of 2006, it would be Bommarillu (2005), but it’s Bollywood, not Tollywood, so nahin! 2006 was a good film year for me; I loved FanaaOmkara, and Guru, but choose to mominate the slightly lesser known Taxi Number 9211 (2006) for the fantastic chemistry  John Abraham and Nana Patekar delivered in their lead roles, plus it taught me a new word in Hindi: gyarah, eleven!  Now if it has John Abraham, Nicki’s  blog (Hmong Chick who loves Indian Cinema) will have covered it, DEKH!

~ 2007 ~

Jab We Met ,  Namastey London,  and Om Shanti Om, were my favorites from 2007.  Wait let’s not forget Ta Ra Rum Pum…just kidding! :)  A lesser known film released that year  which I loved was Traffic Signal (2007). OK, technically it’s parallel cinema since it’s directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, but I love Kunal Khemu and Konkona Sen Sharma‘s work in the film, so it won! Read more about the film HERE at Ajnabi’s blog, Paisa Vasool.

~ 2008 ~


Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008 ) is compelling and thought-provoking, while Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) is a sweet, feel-good, Bollywood film on the other end of the spectrum and I loved them both. I also thoroughly enjoyed the fresh style of Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008) and the award-winning lush epic, Jodhaa Akbar (2008).  For 2008, I will call Ghajini (2008) the best of the best.  Maybe I’ll do a post one day to tell you all the reasons I enjoyed Ghajini, but if you’re reading this blog, no doubt you’ve probably already seen the film and know how spectacular it is.  It has all the key ingredients of a great Bollywood film: orphans, mistaken identity, super evil bad guys,  parking ramp fights, flash backs, unrequited love, mental illness, organ harvesting, A. R. Rahman soundtrack, fantastic acting, and of course a scene with balloons and a birthday cake! Huppy burday to ewe, Huppy burday to ewe…

Listen to the beautiful song form the film, Guzarish with playback singer Sonu Nigam and music by the incomparable A. R. Rahman maybe my favorite of the decade:

lyrics translated by TheBollywoodFan HERE.

~ 2009 ~

Dosto, finally we come to 2009!  What a filmi feast we have had this year.  Magadheera (2009) the  epic blockbuster would win my nomination, but it’s Telugu language is not Hindi, na?  I saw this in the theater without subtitles and it still was my favorite of the year.  I have a friend who also speaks no Telugu who saw it in the theater 4 times, THAT’S how great it is.  I you’re interested in Magadheera, read what Post-Punk Cinema Club said about it  HERE.  Billu Barber was so sweet and fun,  Kaminay (2009) was a fabulous film, but too parallel cinema to be pure Bollywood.  And let’s not forget Kambakkht Ishq, just kidding. I’m fresh off seeing the smashing  3 Idiots, which I think is going to be considered the best Bollywood film of 2009 with reason, but I will instead chose Delhi 6 (2009) for my favorite. The gorgeous music and breathtaking scenes of Delhi were absolutely wonderful, and the plot twists were unconventional.  I particularly enjoyed all the Ramayana references throughout the film as well as the metaphysical messages.  Delhi 6 still resonates in my mind, for its beautiful layered, often spiritually uplifting messages about how we should relate to each other. Read Darshit’s insightful review of Delhi 6 HERE.   Now I’ll leave you with one of the beautiful and uplifting songs from the film, Masakali, with playback singer Mohit Chauhan, and music by A.R. Rahman, of course:

Here are other Bollywood bloggers lists of best  and worst of 2009 or of the decade: TheBollywoodFan; Apni East India Company; So They Dance; Filmi Girl. If I missed you let me know and I’ll link you in.  Happy Hew Year!  See you next year dosto!

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31 thoughts on “Sita-ji’s favorite Bollywood films from 2000-2009

  1. hi sitaji

    love your paaion for films – you have mentioned so many films. but your choice for the favourite is always a surprise. I loved the overacting shahrukh in devdas too. :)

    • m-ji,
      Thanks for stopping in to comment. I tried to choose ones I still remember well and were a bit off the main track, for everyone will be talking about the obvious films. These are films I’d suggest to friends to see too. Yes, SRK’s overacting is mesmerizing. I love it! I plan on eventually doing a “Shahrukh Khan Bleeds from his Mouth” post, since he does it so well and so often in his films. ;)

  2. Hey , first thanks for the link.

    REally nice list. A quite different one, still I want to do something like that. My choices would be Fiza, Ek Haseena Thi, Ghajini and Delhi 6. Though I find Gadar a lot – loud. But Ek Haseena Thi, i can put it Best Revenge-Thriller of recent times. Great acts put together by both-Saif and Urms.

    • darshit-ji,
      You’re welcome. I remember liking that post of yours so much for your insight. Yes, I was trying to be different and shed some light on some great ones that are still Bollywood (no art house/no Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali language, etc.) LOL on Gadar, yes now that you mention it, super loud, it may be the most southie Hindi movie I’ve seen. ;). Yes! Wasn’t Ek Haseena Thi great? And that ending, I mean the place she leaves Saif’s character! Thanks for your input.

      Congratulations on your wedding too, saw the lovely photos on your blog bhai. :)

  3. I love everyone of ur Tolly and Kolly choices!!! I became a sunny fan this year, so I must get around to watching Gadar soon. and ur Urmi choices are super as well- its sad there were so few movies from her this past decade. But hope springs eternal… so here’s to another 10 yrs!

    • shweta-ji,
      Why was I no knowing that you watch Tolly and Kolly bhi? Did you ever manage to see Magadheera?You will most likely LOVE Gadar, more for Amrish Puri, and Sunny is fab. Didn’t this film make him more pf a filmi hero than he already was back when it came out? I too wish there was more of Urmila and will be on the lookout. So you liked Pinjar too? I liked your year review (linked it in yaar) and still have to see Dev!

  4. Fab post Sitaji. I like your discussion on the films you have liked ie tolly or art house and other bolly movies. I liked your list of fav too except Gaddar (found it too melodramatic though an enjoyable time pass) and Shakti (haven’t seen it)

  5. Filmbuff-ji, or as I’d like to say, Filumbuff,
    Thanks for taking time to comment. I’m glad you have seen and enjoyed some of the same. Yes, Gaddar is crazy melodramatic, which is why I liked it, he he he. :) Shakti is even more dramatic in a very sick way, super vendetta and obscene levels of payback, sort of like a southie film on that level, but if you see it I’d love to hear your reaction. So many movies, so little time, na?

    • Too true about many movies and so little time. I have a pile of about 20 TBW DVDs! This includes some good movies like 99, Brick Lane etc.

      I am not inclined to watch Shakti coz I don’t much like Karishma Kapoor although I have seen Fiza and Raja Hindustani.

  6. Filmbuff-ji,
    Yeah, I wasn’t hot on Karisma, but once I grew accustomed to her freak outs ( a la Raja Hindustani) I grew to love her, but if you like Nana, it’s really his movie. I envy your pile! Saw Brick Lane a couple months back and loved it. :) Haven’t heard of 99, must research.

  7. Oh, how am I going to catch up with all those good films?! My TBW list grows longer and longer, and when the films finally arrive I can’t remember why I put them on it in the first place. I shall pick out some of these for high priority though. I’m glad to see Shakti has a place in your list, because I loved that film too. Fan of SRK though I am, I think it would have been better without him. He was the box office draw for a rather art house film though, so I guess they needed him there. I wouldn’t do without Aishwarya’s fantastic dance though. It was one of her best, I think.

    I loved watching Mazakali again, as Sonam Kapoor with a bird on her head is one of the most beautiful things ever on film! I loved all the rest of Delhi 6 too, even Abishek’s dancing. Definitely one of the highlights of the year. So was Wake Up Sid, so I’m surprised it didn’t make it to your list.

    I hope you had a happy Christmas and new year. I look forward to more of your great posts in 2010. Take care, saheli.

    • Joss-ji,
      I know, to catch up is an impossible task. I have that list too, and the exact same phenomenon: where did I read about this and why did I order it? I’m delighted you liked Shakti, isn’t it FREAKY! Yes SRK is sort of and odd choice popping up in that extended cameo, he’s very good, but it was sort of distracting. I think I would have chosen, Kay Kay Menon, Ajay Devgan, Irfan Khan, or Sunil Shetty for that part instead as they can look delighfuly sleazy and rough in those bad boy heart of gold parts, but I don’t do Bollywood casting and no one asked me. ;)

      Mazakali is so pretty, when I was in India last year the commercial was out with that song, and for a while I thought it was a shampoo commercial, with the focus on the hair from the bird. I did like Wake Up Sid, mostly for Konkona’s really cool shirts. :) She was great, and so was Ranbir, but I couldn’t quite “buy” the story, but I liked it. Thanks for you sweet words saheli and all the best to you in 2010.

      • Yes Konkana’s shirts were really cool and I was wondering if I can find them in any of the shops on my next visit to India! Perhaps in Bombay but I don’t go to Bombay these days.

      • Hey there, Konkona’s shirts were indeed nice, and I have been thinking about how to get hold of something like her white kurta ever since. But I’m amazed that it was HER shirts you chose to mention, and not HIS! I was admiring those tees throughout the film. What a fantastic collection he had. I don’t usually choose things with designs on for my son, preferring stripes, but those would all be very acceptable indeed. Actually, the t shirts were a good distraction from Ranbir’s puppy face. I first encountered him in Saawariya and although I found him rather irritating he had some wonderful drop-dead moments there. I loved the look on his face where he saw Sonam Kapoor for the first time, in the song Marsha-allah. I wish I could have that effect on someone. Even him.

      • Yes, her shirts were so cute they distracted me from the plot. :) There’s that scene when she’s going on about how she really likes how her life is going in Mumbai, and she lists the positive things, and I wanted to interject, “AND ALL YOUR CUTE SHIRTS!” Joss, yes, I remember that moment from Sawaariya, and he was good in that part of the film for sure. i am looking forward to seeing him in Rocket Singh.

  8. Happy New Year to you, and thanks for a comprehensive overview. I will go out on a limb and say that the 2000’s were a better decade (Bollywood movie-wise) than the 1990’s and the 1980’s. Some other movies to add to your worthy list (although I do not remember years accurately)
    1) Johnny Gaddar
    2) Being Cyrus
    3) Little Zizou
    4) DevD (The ABhay Deol one & not DevDas with SRK)
    5) A Wednesday
    6) Black Friday
    7) 1971
    8 ) Hera Pheri
    9) MunnaBhai
    10) Lagaan
    11) Dil Chahta Hai
    12) Khosla Ka Ghosla
    13) Cheeni Kum
    14) Manorama 6 Feet Under (inspired by Chinatown)

    However, to the delight of bloggers; there are several movies that shall we say “maintained the 80’s & 90’s standards”. Some even reached the level of 70’s movies such as Dharmatma (I actually liked Dharmatma, and still find it entertaining, although not as entertaining as your review.). These should provide ample fodder for timeless classic entertainment.

    • Samir-ji, bhai, oenophile,
      Thanks for your eclectic list. I am waiting to see Dev D since I’ve enjoyed Abhay Deol in all movies I’ve seen him in. I’ve seen and enjoyed all of the movies, sirf, 1971, Dev D., Johnny Gaddar; Being Cyrus; and Little Zizou. Black Friday and A Wednesday were fantastic. My favorite off your list that I’ve seen would probably be Manorama 6 Feet Under Lagaan doesn’t count, too epic.

      And speaking of Dharmatma, thanks for the complement on my post, Beth Loves Bollywood just did a much more detailed post on it:

      http://bethlovesbollywood.blogspot.com/2010/01/dharmatma.html

      And Memsaab did a great one a while back too:

      http://memsaabstory.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/dharmatma-1975/

      LOL @ some even reached the level of 70’s movies because that is such a prolific era in provide fodder. Bilkul endless! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  9. Namaste sitaji,
    Wonderful post! I love how you broke it all down by year. It’s so hard sometimes to pick one favorite/year or ten for the decade, your list was fantastic, with tons of movies I also loved. It seems like I will never catch upand see all of the films other people love (I think I have about 30 or so sitting on my dvd shelves just waiting for their turn).

    I wasn’t going to do a fav’s of the decade list, but you may have inspired me!

    • shellie-ji,
      Thanks for the compliment.It’s really impossible to chose, so I just tried to do one’s I really remember liking and would recommend to others. Yeah, I do better with the movies that I need to return to Netflix or the library, or to someone, because once I own them, they tend to sit, but there’s a sweet comfort in knowing there’s a shelf of Indian movies waiting to be watched, hai na? Do a faves of the decade, DO IT! Report back when you do so I can link it in here. Technically you could wait for the decade to end, as it really ends next year. :)

      p.s. I liked your year in review of chugli/gossip/scandal in 2009. I still am so disappointed in the Shiney story, since I loved his acting (and so handsome) but the story seemed real, not one of those celebrity accusations.

  10. Woohoo awesome list!! I loved all the art films you mentioned. And reading what you said about Magadheera reminded me I need to see it!!

    Shakti is ONE CRAZY FILM. OMG Nana is just psychotic in it. Do you know, apparently Gauri Khan was so disgusted with the violence/screaming/shouting/atrocity against women type stuff that she stomped out of the premiere? :D

    Apparently, Jaya Bachchan did the same at the premiere of NamakHalal because she hated Amitabh in drag (‘Mere Angne Mein’ song). teehee I love these little tamashas!

    • pitu-ji,
      Thanks for the little extra chugli about the Shakti premier. Do you think it was a publicity stunt? I do remember the foul misogyny in that film, but I don’t recall it being any more drastic than some of the others, not that it’s OK by any means, but sort of, what else is new? And reading up on the film I see it’s a remake of a Telugu film Antahpuram and are you surprised with all that drama on crack? That sort of reminds me of Virasat, which I watched with the same level of shock and awe, and then BINGO, find it’s a remake of 1992 Tamil film Thevar Magan.

      Thanks for the new stories about Gauri and Jaya, and more importantly the new vocab. Tamashas matlab? Ah! WWW to the rescue!

      Tamasha is an Urdu word for the noun ‘show’, or ‘spectacle’. It is also used to convey a similar meaning as the word ‘drama’ does for the behaviour of a ‘drama queen’.

      On a side note, I’m sure there are a lot of american girls in Chicago actually named Tamasha who may be drama queens, not knowing they are enacting their own names!

      • Nahh, don’t think it was a stunt. Gauri Khan is very frank and in one interview, she was asked to name which of SRK’s films she hates and instead of saying ‘None’, she promptly said ‘Shakti’ :-D

  11. wow how the hell did i miss this fabulous post, happy 2010 Sita-ji, Lol at you spotting the word ‘melodious’ (you and that word) reading your list made me realise how much little i’ve seen from the ’00’s, i think it confirms the fact that i’m a golden oldie lover majorly but i do like to indulge in ’00’s every now and then

    • bollywoodeewana-ji,
      How great for you to stop by and comment, it is like the sound of a melodious Bollywood soundtrack playing! I’m glad you stopped in, and I do hope you noticed I had to link in your Ek Hasina Thi post in above. I like all the eras, and really jump around, but do need to brush up on the older stuff myself, especially the 1950’s and 1960’s. As always, so many movies, so little time yaar. :)

  12. Eeek!!! (that was me mentally squealing with joy at work) Can I just say I love your choices? Love how they aren’t the least bit obvious and are all so distinctive. Also noticed that you have a definite flair for drama, which I definitely share with you!

    A lot of the movies you picked are movies I thoroughly enjoyed. ‘Gadar’ for example – so epic! (I love ‘Main Nikla Gaadi Leke’ too). And it’s gratifying to find someone else who actually watched (and loved) ‘Ramji Londonwaley’. It was such a pleasant surprise to discover that film – such a cute little gem. Madhavan was AWESOME in it.

    I really have to see Shakti soon… and Taxi No. 9211 (think I might have it already, will check right away).

  13. DG-ji (daddy’s girl-ji!)
    So glad you liked my choices. :) You will love Shakti because it’s dramatically insane. I accidentally got it thinking I’d ordered the original, more famous movie of the same title with Amitabh and Shashi. At first I was disappointed, but one I started watching it, I loved it. I look forward to hearing what you think of it after you see it, since I don’t know too many people who have seen it, sirf Pitu-ji. I think I’d like to see Taxi No. 9211 again myself, as I’m sure there was more to catch than I did first time around. I love Nana! What a command he has over playing scary, insane, and dangerous freaks, perhaps even better than Amjad Khan or Amrish Puri. So glad you enjoyed Ramji Londenwaley too. And wasn’t Madhavan excellent!? I do though remember that the woman in it, Samita Bangargi, looked sort of like a trannie with her makeup overdone, brows over tweezed. Remember that? She was cute, and I enjoyed her performance, but whoever did her makeup was not doing her any favors. You can’t tell so much here, but it was distracting in the film. :) All the best behen and thanks for your comment.

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